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December 8, 2011

Iraq Pullout: America Still Golden

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With America’s regular troops pulling out of Iraq this month, photographers have been dispatched to cover the milestone. What is the take-away, however, from a war that had little justification up front, was a quagmire most of its duration, bled our treasury and our energy, and, in the end, escaped the loss column by a hair?

Struggling to locate a higher goal or a moral center in this campaign and in this photo gallery, what stands out in the imagery are these signature elements. Just as George Bush early on linked patriotism to going shopping, it seems that the residual accomplishment of Operation Iraqi Freedom was the preservation of America’s popular culture and consumer way of life.

(photo 1: Joe Raedle/Getty Images caption 1: U.S. Army Sergeant James Linville from Brandon, Florida and Justin Herdman from Dover, Arkansas of the 2-82 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, relax as they order McDonald’s meals after arriving in Kuwait from Camp Adder in Iraq on December 7, 2011 at Camp Virginia, near Kuwait City, Kuwait. Lt. Wilson had been looking forward to fast food after spending seven months serving in Iraq. America’s military continues its pullout of Iraq by the end of December after eight years of war and occupation which included the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.caption 2: U.S. Army soldiers from the 2-82 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, ride on a bus to a temporary housing facility after arriving in Kuwait from Camp Adder in Iraq on December 7, 2011 at Camp Virginia, near Kuwait City, Kuwait. After seven months in Iraq, the 3rd Brigade has pulled out of the country as part of America’s military exodus by the end of December after eight years of war and occupation which included the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.. caption 3: A U.S. Army soldier from the 2-82 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, carries a football after arriving in Kuwait from Camp Adder in Iraq on December 7, 2011 at Camp Virginia, near Kuwait City, Kuwait. After seven months in Iraq, the 3rd Brigade has pulled out of the country as part of America’s military exodus by the end of December after eight years of war and occupation which included the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.)

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